“I don’t know if this will eventually be a problem, but I really like all three.”
The three items in question are teaching, research and service. They are also three areas where Dr. Jamie Kopper, assistant professor of veterinary clinical sciences, excels in.
“I don’t ever want to have to choose one over the other,” Kopper said. “That’s why I do the job I do.”
Kopper’s excellence in teaching, research and service is on display every day in the Large Animal Hospital in the Lloyd Veterinary Medicine where she practices equine medicine and surgery.
As a classroom instructor, Kopper is the instructor-in-charge on a course focusing on equine medicine. She has organized interactive synchronous reviews for students each week and offered optional case-based clinical reviews to help students connect with the course information to real life clinical cases.
Ironically, she teaches in a way she would have not liked if she was the student and not the instructor.
“The way I liked to be taught isn’t the way most students today like to be taught,” she said, “and figuring out what that method is can be a little bit challenging.”
As a student, Kopper preferred to sit in the back of the classroom, take notes and then go home to study. She didn’t like the classroom exercises and god forbid the professor would break the class into small groups. “I’m not afraid to ask for help with my classroom instruction,” Kopper said. “That’s probably the best thing I’ve done.” Among the ways she has learned how to teach is to watch fellow instructors and utilized the talents of the Office of Curricular Assessment and Teaching Support (OCATS). That method has led to her teaching success.
“I really enjoy working with students,” Kopper said, “and seeing when that lite bulb goes off. I just hope I’ve done something that has impacted a few students’ lives.” Kopper takes much the same approach when dealing with equine clients. There she is a self-motivated problem solver who has demonstrated superb leadership and the initiative to equine services which has resulted in improvements in patient care and client service.
“I like helping people,” Kopper said. “Like every medical professional, I try to help clients through what may be one of the worst days of animal ownership.
“I try to find out what out what their best option is for the care and treatment of their horse.”
She impacts the field of equine and large animal gastroenterology through her original research publications, presentations and research mentoring to veterinary students, graduate students and residents. Her research focus looks at improving the survival of horses with gastrointestinal disease.
Kopper’s love of research dates back to her days as an undergraduate when she worked in a research lab. After graduation she continued her activities as she pursued a PhD. She has continued that love at Iowa State.
“Sometimes, I will get frustrated with cases where I can’t find a way to help the patient,” she said. “I take that frustration back to the lab and work to find new and better treatments.”
Kopper’s achievements in these areas led to her receiving awards for teaching, research and service at the College of Veterinary Medicine Fall Convocation.